Hail to my body!

Hail to my body!

The body is the beginning and the end of living. It is the main part of life for each individual; without the body we don’t exist in the physical world. We completely die when the body breaks down and can no longer carry our soul. This is an undeniable fact and we all somehow know it but we don’t think about it enough. Do you trust your body? Do you treat your body the way you should treat the main thing that makes you human and alive?

I lost the connection to my body somewhere between packing up pounds in my prepubescent body and puberty. I started to doubt my body and with each pound gained and each comment about my weight, I started to detach myself from my body. I became ashamed of it. I didn’t look at it anymore, I mean really look at it in acknowledgement. I let my body go and started doing anything I could do to lose weight barely at the age of fourteen. I couldn’t carry the breasts that were dropped on my late bloomer self and no one helped me deal with it. It was only bound get worse when my gym instructor thought he was the appropriate person to give me advice on how I need to strap my breasts and how I can’t do sports with all that. At that point, I was far gone from my body. My body became a stranger that I didn’t trust. I couldn’t trust it.

I love food. I really love it; the smell, the taste, the texture of a well cooked meal is everything of a heaven to me. I wish my body understood my love of food and worked with me instead of making me pack up pounds at every bite I take. I mean, is it a crime to love the goodness and holiness of food? No, it is not and it shouldn’t be but my body did not understand. These were the things I thought about when I thought about my body. While I was going through this mental and physical struggle, my poor body was just helplessly looking at me, hoping that I will see that we were both fine and that we just needed to work with one another. At one point I discovered weight loss pills and told myself that this is all I needed, yes! I took those pills, lost a few pounds then of course gained them back. The pills were giving me acute anxiety and thoughts of suicide while I took them on and off. I was destroying my body and my mind. At 20 years old, I decided to stop the pills because I didn’t want to continue that kind of self-harm behavior. Even after that, I was still far from trusting my body. After an emotional breakdown and eating my sorrows away as if food alone could save me, I actually crossed over to obese. I was finally fat physically as I thought I was mentally. I was officially obese and I looked overweight. The clothes couldn’t hide it anymore and the BMI was not trying to take it easy on me either, it lay the O word flat-out for me. At that point, I felt powerless. I wasn’t even in the mindset of trying to lose weight anymore, I just wanted to be fine. I looked at my body and surrendered. I was ready to come home where I belong and my body was happy because it was waiting for me. A good amount of the pounds melted away after that as I began to feel better mentally. I was no longer attempting to lower my weight. I was merely hoping it will never go back the way it was in those dark months. Then somewhere my senior year, the pills became tempting again and that was the last bottle. I only took it once or twice and I knew from there that I was done for good. I kept the bottle filled with the pills to remind me that I closed that door for good.

I started to make amends with my body. I acknowledged it and I talked to it. I accepted it as my partner for life, we were no longer strangers. I became happier with my weight and my eating habits improved and my weight went down on its own. It was a work in progress. I was glad that my weight was fairly in the average range but I wanted to get in shape and be fit. After a mammogram confirmed a lump in my breast, I became fixated on optimal health. I knew from there on that optimal health is something within my reach if I work with my body along with determination and persistence. I was afraid and filled with doubts as I’ve been for years. I didn’t know where to start so naturally I started with nutrition. I love food and I love cooking. I can cook healthy delectable meals for myself, that is easy enough. It sure was and it was also expensive but nothing is more expensive than my life. The hardest part was portion control. I love food and I pay tribute to food by eating it in large amounts. I did well my first month and I lost ten pounds. Things were looking good then I started to gain the weight back. I was stressed by my life, eating in large quantities but not exercising enough. I took off my weight loss board and quit right there and then.

A few weeks later, as faith would have it, I went to Strand in New York City with a friend. There were books outside for a dollar each and it was freezing in NYC on that December evening. It was hard to resist books at a dollar so we stopped to look through the stacks. The first book I touched was all I need and right away, I was intrigued and mesmerized by the title. The book is called “From Bagels to Buddha” by Judy Hollis, a woman who is a pioneer of Eating Disorders treatment in America. The universe at work! After reading the book, all I could think about was self-trust and spiritual awareness. My spiritual awareness was set in motion when I did my year of service in the episcopal church and having moved back home after the program ended, I was trying to keep it up.

I waited until January to go to the public library and get books to seek spiritual knowledge that are rooted in self-trust and communion with the divine grace within us. I took books on Buddhism because I wanted to explore more what that practice has to offer then grabbed a random book about meditation as a healing tool. Needless to say that the random book shifted me on the inside as Judy Hollis’ book did and the title of that book is “Meditations to heal your life” by Louise Hay. I was officially introduced to positive affirmation as a form of meditation and I knew from there on that I was ready. I signed up for the gym and set up a plan to achieve optimal health. I do want to look great and slim down but more than anything I want strength and optimal health. I said nothing is going to stop me, not even myself.

I have learned over time that the body is mightier and more powerful than we think. I have seen people do amazing things with their body because they believe that it is truly strong and unstoppable. As long as you are in communion with your body, you can get it to work with and for you more than ever before. I am still learning and strengthening this communion and honestly yoga and meditation have been great helpers. I wish for us all to trust our body and be in communion with it.
Peace to you!

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Unforseen

Unforseen

The moment.

We are here.

We are laughing.

Hands are touching.

We are sharing stories.

Food is cooking.

We are eating.

Unpredictability.

We kissed.

The moment.

It’s gone forever.

There is no backward motion.

It’s all illusion.

There is perhaps only a forward motion.

And a forward motion in the wrong direction.

There is definitely no backward motion.

One minute we are alive.

The next, she died.

Beds left untouched.

A life that no longer exists.

The moment.

It vanished into an abyss.

There is only love.

Let’s share it everyday.

Care as deeply as we can.

Step back when we’ve been compromised.

Sit still and express appreciation for life.

Predictability.

We love.

We live.

We die.

My stance

My stance

I stood at the doorway of my life,

unafraid, willing to risk comfort for adventures.

The sunrise warmed up my face as I lay out maps,

and compass and pencils to draw my road.

There are mountains to be climbed with these legs of mine,

rivers to swim across and oceans to sail through.

This confidence has sparkled from deep within,

awaken by the culmination of all that has happened.

A sudden death, a wake up call.

I could disappear and people will forget.

I don’t want meaningless facts to be spoken,

when my life ends for I will love to mean more.

The legacy of the girl who survived the death of a parent,

who learned a new language from one day to the next,

who fell in love, then out and into her own love.

I want people to say she had the spark, she was golden,

She thrived, she soared, she was mighty.

She carried herself with grace, ate with a ravenous appetite,

and created great recipes out of thin air with style.

Her books have inspired millions of people around the world,

and her hands have healed as many as they could touch.

She was a delight to be around and she lived,

she stood in her light and owned her glory.

She was as fearless as she was kind.

Her family adored her and love always seemed to pour out of her.

She was a legend, a woman who owned her power,

a glorious woman.

Buoyancy

Buoyancy

Silver spoon in perfect mouth,

sneakers running on fresh grass,

life passing through windows,

girls laughing at a restaurant.

Boys sitting by the water,

sunset at the horizon,

kisses between two soulmates.

Morning ritual of tea and banana,

oranges with warm toast and butter,

hands holding a body in adornment.

Heavy tears flowing out of a broken heart,

sadness as a chain choking a neck,

a mother laying dead on the ground.

Sisters fist fighting in a small room,

fathers trying their personal best,

girls punching anger out of themselves.

Calling ex boyfriend’s aunt for closure,

there is no shame in loving boys who left but,

not enough contempt to love husbands, not ours.

Long walks on winter evenings eating love,

writing stories we thought would become a lifetime.

Hands clenching a back in pain,

alleviating wounds only love can heal.

Mothers should live as long as their daughters,

sons are nurtured by their mother’s love,

all children want their parents to be present.

Benches in schools where we spent lunch breaks,

building the kind of friendship teenagers do best,

unaware of how quickly we would grow into adults.

Taking a hammer to one’s own heart and wrecking it,

then picking up the pieces to reassemble a stronger heart.

Standing by the water to call out God for answers,

with the mind replaying memories of the past,

and the present coming to a standstill at a crossroads.

Sharing intimacy with naked bodies in a stranger’s bed,

opening up about the boy we truly loved.

Brisk morning walk with wind in the hair,

breath of fresh air and calm thoughts to induce serenity.

Our humanity grounds us on earth,

as we catapult into actions and reactions,

living yet resisting life until it forces us to surrender.

The me inside of me

The me inside of me

Laughter.

This is a beautiful story.

Food.

We cooked and we ate it too.

The restaurant was excellent, I devoured my plate.

Sisters.

I have two sisters from my parents.

More sisters came and settled in my heart.

I am a sister to all the girls who sit down to talk.

Nature.

The earth humbles me.

I meet myself in nature.

The sunshine conquers my heart.

I hug trees to share their energy.

Love.

I am loving.

I am lovable.

Kisses on the forehead.

Lip balm from my lips to his.

More love sharing with all the people in my life.

Kindness.

It is a daily practice.

We smile to acknowledge our similarities.

We accept our elusive differences.

There is kindness everywhere.

A stranger who sees your tears and hands you tissue.

My friend spent five hours with me in my heartbreak.

Travel.

I have a deep desire to experience new cultures.

I drool over food I’ve never tasted.

My past lives are calling me where I’ve lived before.

I feel languages I’ve yet to learn in my heart.

My life is a grand adventure of joy and discovery.

So many places to see, strangers to befriend, food to devour.

The excitement of new first times.

Art.

Painting colors on acrylic paper.

Writing words on my hands in an emotional meltdown.

Drawing my wounds in words that soothe.

Putting clothes on my body to reflect my mood.

Singing out loud to drown my sorrows.

Creating a new way to cope with uncertainty.

Cooking a meal with my heart.

Pairing words with pictures.

Brothers.

I have two from my parents.

One was my only sibling at one time.

The other is my youngest sibling.

I pray for both to only know women who they can truly love.

They are gentle like boys with kind mothers.

We laugh and make jokes when we are home.

Boys who sit to talk are my brothers.

We share stories and advice.

My mother has two brothers whom I call uncles.

Beauty.

I wear it daily.

It smiles confidently.

It radiates from my heart.

The clothes I honor with body with.

I breathe in positive affirmations.

I respect my humanity and all humanity.

I treat myself with kindness and reverence.

My body wears me well all day.

My hands touch my feet with love.

I feed my heart and soul with sustenance.

It’s all mine

It’s all mine

The sum of my trials and mistakes added up to the painting of my life.

I became an orphan too soon and grew into a motherless daughter.

When the errors of my life emerge to haunt me, I call out to my mother,

wishing she would answer and then I sit quietly in the dark to listen.

I took a razor to shave my head as a self revolution and stood in the mirror,

like a warrior who didn’t know what she was fighting for.

I grabbed my own hand one day and said I was more than enough,

and buried my insecurities by a lake so it can be swallowed by the earth.

I didn’t see my own beauty because I didn’t have my mother as a mirror,

I looked for myself in books that felt like home and the last page always left me, lonely.

I loved a boy who was never meant to stay yet his love changed me,

so I still pray for his happiness and contentment.

I’ve learned to stand up for myself but sometimes I hit my head when I stand abruptly,

so I had to learn to stand up gently and sit down  a little longer when need be.

I have lost mother, father, self, romantic love but what hurts the most was not knowing,

who I was and where I left myself to rot. I had to go looking for myself to find me.

The roads that I’ve taken have led me to wonderful destinations but at times,

it hurts to think of the roots I had to abandon and the ones that left me.

I stood on a hill, lungs filled with gratitude and my mind filled with wonder,

from the places I’ve been and for the places I’m getting to.

I had to accept the soothing grace of humility through the irritability of my ego,

to love when there is anger and to forgive when I felt righteous.

Everywhere I’ve been, everything I’ve eaten, all the choices I’ve made,

all the love I’ve given, all the love I’ve received gracefully,

all the falls I’ve had, each time I’ve stood again,

all the hurtful words I’ve spoken and burned myself with,

the offenses committed against me, the peace offerings I’ve held in my heart,

each day since the day out of my mother’s womb,

all of it, is my life. All of it.